Dharma Pharmaceuticals officially opened its doors to the public last Saturday, October 17, 2020, in the state of Virginia. This medical cannabis dispensary is considered as the first out of the four companies to launch its products and services to the public.

The opening of the first dispensary in Virginia comes five years after state lawmakers approved legislation in 2015 that patients who possessed cannabis products will not be penalized. Under the said program, recognized patients and individuals may obtain a 90-day supply of MMJ products. NORML states that a total of 6,000 Virginians have signed up to take part in the program.

As of writing, Ganjapreneur states that Virginia is the 27th state to decriminalize cannabis possession up to an ounce. Meanwhile, it is the 34th state to have a full-plant medical marijuana system.

Virginia’s First Medical Cannabis Dispensary

Virginia NORML Executive Director and NORML Development Director Jenn Michelle Pedini shared her sentiments over the opening of Dharma Pharmaceuticals and the start of dispensary operations in the region, saying, “Five long years after beginning the legislative process to bring medical cannabis to Virginians, we are thrilled to celebrate the grand opening of the Commonwealth’s first dispensary.”

Dharma Pharmaceuticals is located in Bristol, in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As the first full plant medical cannabis processor in Bristol, the company aims to not only provide patients with “high-quality, safe, and effective plant-based medicines,” but also extend jobs to people in the area.

In its press release, co-founder and chief executive officer of Dharma Pharmaceuticals Shanna Berry said, “We are eager to provide a new treatment option to Virginia patients and also provide jobs and economic growth within our community.”

On the same note, co-founder and chief operating officer of the company, Jack L. Page said, “Dharma Pharmaceuticals is truly a homegrown effort led by local business professionals with a passion for our community and helping patients gain access to medical cannabis. We are the first to produce and sell medical cannabis to Virginians thanks to every member of our team.”

It opened up shop at 9 in the morning to lend its services to registered patients who expressed their intentions of attending the grand opening. NBC12 Newsroom said that patients attending the event were required to make an appointment by calling 833-434-2762.

In addition, attendees were required by the dispensary to present a government-issued ID, their respective MMJ patient card issued by the Board of Pharmacy, and a copy of the written certificate issued by a registered practitioner.

In a statement, Dharma said that it will “provide patients the opportunity to meet with a pharmacist in a confidential setting, who will help them develop a treatment plan and provide them with information to track their results.”

According to Ganjapreneur, the opening of the first medical cannabis dispensary in the area saw a variety of offerings ranging from high CBD and high THC oil-based products. Among the items permitted to be sold under the law are creams, lozenges, oils, tinctures, sprays, gummies, edibles, inhalation products, and many others.

Virginia’s Medical Cannabis Dispensary

Apart from Dharma Pharmaceuticals, the other dispensaries expected to open are PharmaCanna Virginia, Dalitso, and Green Leaf Medical of Virginia, and Columbia Care. NBC12 Newsroom states that Green Leaf Medical is slated to open late this month after finishing its first marijuana harvest.


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